Posted by: asianshock | August 13, 2011

July 13 Day 46

Today we went on our third and final tour group. We woke up bright and early and boarded the bus around 8 am.
First stop- Beijing Zoo!
At 8 am, the temperature was perfect for visiting the zoo not only because we wouldn’t be in the sun, but also because the animals are much more active. The zoo had the usual elephants, tigers, and birds but the animals we came to see are of course the Pandas!.

Everyone loves Pandas!

We stayed at the zoo for about an hour and then it was off to the Bell and Drum Tower. They are situated on the dragon line, which is a line that runs through the middle of Beijing. The Forbidden city and Tiananmen are also located on this imaginary line. The two towers were used in ancient China to relay the time and any special events. Today, the bell is only rung once and it is during Chinese New Year.

That is one big bell

After the bell and Drum Tower, we took a rickshaw ride to a local family’s house in the Hutong to eat lunch. The Hutong are small narrow streets where people live. There used to be a lot of them in different cities in China, but many were torn down and replaced with commercial buildings. Beijing decided to keep a few of the Hutongs around for cultural purposes and for tourism. I was surprised when we were brought into this woman’s house to eat lunch. It was one of the best meals I have had in Beijing so far.

A sample of the dishes served

After lunch, a tour guide gave us a little historical lesson about the Hutongs and then it was off to the Lama Temple. There we walked around, burned some incense and participated in the cultural experience.

The last and final stop was the Olympic Stadium. We visited both the Bird’s Nest and the Water Cube.

Where are the birds?



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